The prologue to this week's episode of This American Life delighted me. The thought of Ira Glass crouching in that van with those teenagers, working on an elaborate setup to ask a girl to a dance...it just made me grin.
Partly, this was because the teenagers in that segment were just so likeable (and had dang good fake Russian). But I also loved hearing the story of teenagers asking each other to dances in grand gestures from the point of view of an outsider, to whom this practice was quirky and unusual.
When I was in high school (in Portland, Oregon), that's how we asked each other to dances, too. And this was before Google, so you couldn't just easily look up "creative way to ask someone to Prom" or whatever. If there was a list, it was printed out on paper or else passed around among those who had email accounts; I never saw one. My friends just knew these things. I don't know how. But if you needed ideas, they had them.
Dance invitation asking/answerings that I had first-hand knowledge of or participation in:
- "In case you were Wonder-ing, yes, I will go to the dance with you" note rolled up inside of a hollowed-out loaf of Wonder bread, doorbell-ditched.
- "PROM?" spelled out on bedroom ceiling with glow-in-the-dark stars.
- "YES," spelled out in same manner.
- box of Alphabits cereal with a Y, E, and S removed, colored with permanent marker, and mixed back up in the box and delivered to asker.
- room filled with balloons. One has a piece of paper with "yes" written on it, inside.
- three successive boys (all named Mike, IIRC) coming in to math class to ask someone to a dance, as a foil for the actual person who intended to ask.
Was this a thing when you were in high school? What are the best and worst grand gestures you knew of?